Looks vs performance

Symples

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2021
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770
I have just purchased my latest piece of hifi (I'll get to what it is later)

But the reason for this post, is that the purchase got me thinking.

What was the reason for purchasing that particular piece of equipment? Was it the reviews, the sound quality after listening, the looks or a combination of all three?

Going back 40 plus years. I had bought at ADC 1700 turntable. Purely on looks. Even though they were raving about the Pioneer PL12D l(I think) is the Sansui 222.

It may have looked good, but it was a cheap plastic thing.
Did it sound good? I had nothing previous to compare it to.

The next turntable purchase was an Akai LP45 linear tracking turntable. I loved the idea of linear tracking. Loved the looks.

Drove me mad trying to locate tracks on an LP.

In the end. Purely on a hifi recommendation (probably What Hifi) I bought a Dual CS505-2
Again a bit plastically, but it did the job.

I realised that I bought hifi on looks before sound quality.
However there were times when looks and sound quality matched. (Hitachi D2200M) cassette deck. I dreamed of owning one and picked one up for £200 new (good one Richer)

Right....
My CD player is a Yamaha CD S2100 (bought Purely on looks and build quality) I love it.

Now let's get up yo date on my latest purchase.
I have bought this turntable purely on its looks, but I also know that it is a good turntable.

A Michell Gyrodec (I love it)
The arm a recommendation Rega RB303
The cartridge an Ortofon 2M Blue

The arm and cartridge were bought without an audition. Purely on a recommendation.

But how often do we, as hifi lovers, buy equipment based on looks?
I certainly didn't want a Marantz CD6007 (I don't like the look)
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
I think the looks matter, unless you’re a DIYer, and most of us share a system with a family room of some sort. And mine is switched off as much as it is on, so it helps if it’s smart too.
 

treesey

Well-known member
May 18, 2015
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18,870
Strange you mention the Sansui - I bought it due to the reviews, and the gorgeous black looks of the SR222 were a bonus.

The first proper amp I bought new, was after a home demo of the svelte wooden cased A&R Cambridge A60, and the hideous Crimson Elektrik 510/520 pairing - obviously I bought the Crimson. I still use the 520 on a daily basis.

Looks are way down my list, and always have been. Performance and quality are top. Our main car is a Subaru. On 133k miles. Just passed it's MOT, again.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Nobody should buy an audio product based solely on looks - though I must have been guilty when I was a boy 🙃

Equally, there has to be a lower limit when it comes to acceptable fugliness.
 
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Never bought anything solely on looks and my previous amplification (Tom Evans Audio) would backlinks statement.
The only thing I have seen lately that I would buy, if I could afford it, is the HiFi Rose RA180, however that's no longer the case as I have since read reviews of it.
Buying on looks alone is a thing of the past when reviews were few and the internet didn't exist..... :)
 
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abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
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19,770
Music affects you both consciously and subconsciously, so does the looks of a piece of equipment, balancing the 2 will give you the most satisfying performance as there is nothing irritating in your subconscious that will cause annoyance over time. (Note: not everybody is the same in how much something irritates them, so it is up to the individual to get the right balance)

Bill
 
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Symples

Well-known member
Aug 12, 2021
192
110
770
Strange you mention the Sansui - I bought it due to the reviews, and the gorgeous black looks of the SR222 were a bonus.

The first proper amp I bought new, was after a home demo of the svelte wooden cased A&R Cambridge A60, and the hideous Crimson Elektrik 510/520 pairing - obviously I bought the Crimson. I still use the 520 on a daily basis.

Looks are way down my list, and always have been. Performance and quality are top. Our main car is a Subaru. On 133k miles. Just passed it's MOT, again.
The SR222 did look good 🙂
 
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daytona600

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2012
598
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Just as easy to make any product Good or Bad looking , very rare to see a timeless design classic
Almost all hifi companies should hire a women or industrial designer Great system should be on display not hidden away
 

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